Access to sustainable energy for all in Mali

This 39-month project began on October 1st 2018 in the regions of Sikasso, Ségou and Kayes. It is upported financially by the Swedish Development Cooperation with Mali, the French Development Agency (AFD), the Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation, the Nexans Foundation and Synergie Solaire.

Context and challenges

Geres and its local partners (local authorities and farmer organizations) have launched various initiatives in response to the energy needs of stakeholders in the territory, offering cost-effective, sustainable alternatives.

These experiences gave rise to the concept of the Green Business Areas, an integrated solution supplying electricity to small enterprises, co-operatives and rural services and acting as a rural business accelerator.

In energy-poor areas of the Sahel like Mali, where the rate of rural electrification rarely exceeds 20%, decentralized energy solutions (micro power stations, mini-grids) can, by promoting local processing, offer alternative ways of supporting the development of both basic services and agricultural and craft value chains.

Yet in environments where education systems are lacking, where tensions, social inequalities and youth under-employment are rife, access to electricity cannot on its own systematically generate inclusive economic development.

By establishing a global ecosystem conducive to the development of rural entrepreneurship, the GBA can then serve as a development tool for rural territories, creating value and jobs.

Electricity production is based on locally available renewable energy sources, which primarily means solar in the Sahelian zone. Sized according to the needs of rural businesses, the GBA provides an attractive technical and economic model for the private sector and rural electrification operators.

Objectives and solutions

The project makes an active contribution to Geres scaling up strategy in the rollout of decentralized solutions.

It focuses on four key operational priorities:

1. Increasing renewable energy production in rural territories according to the needs of productive users of energy, through support for decentralized clean energy solutions, particularly Green Business Areas, promoting sustainable management and governance systems.

2. Supporting very small rural enterprises and community groups to maximize the economic (added value, jobs) and social (food security, decent work, inclusion) benefits of energy access and develop the local economic fabric.

3. Establishing the conditions for ongoing management of the GBAs by setting up a social enterprise and mobilizing various funding sources.

4. Documenting and circulating the project results to the stakeholders and disseminating the lessons learned and benefits at local, regional and national level to stimulate wider-scale replication.

In the long run, the project’s goals include:

  • 8 Green Business Areas operating in the three project regions
  • 80 MWh/year produced from renewable energy sources and consumed by rural businesses
  • 52 MWh/year for pumps in the vegetable production sector
  • 120 Very Small Enterprises accessing high-quality electricity 24/7
  • 16 vegetable production schemes with improved water pumping facilities
  • 250 direct jobs created and 750 indirect jobs consolidated
  • Turnover of at least €500,000 generated by the VSEs (in year 3)
  • 250 artisans and traders with access to decent working conditions
  • 1 social enterprise set up to manage and develop the new GBAs

THe activities of Konseguela

The construction of the Moro Moro GBA

The technical partners

Activities are carried out by Geres Mali in partnership with AMEDD – Association Malienne pour l’Eveil au Développement Durable [Malian sustainable development association], the national  State agencies (AMADER, ANADEB, AER) and technical partners (Association la Voûte Nubienne, Kafo Jiginew, etc).


ASDI : Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency

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The Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency is a government agency set up in 1995 which comes under the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The agency is responsible for official development aid to developing countries.

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French Development Agency (AFD)

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This financial institution forms the core of the French development aid system for poor countries. Its mission: to take part in funding development by helping the private or public sector and local not-for-profit networks to implement economic and social projects on five continents and in the French overseas territories.

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Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation

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The Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation seeks to be an accelerator of projects and solutions for the environment. It supports the implementation of innovative ethical solutions in three major fields: climate change, biodiversity and water. Since 2013, the Foundation has supported our work to distribute improved stoves with a view to improving living conditions and protecting the environment in Africa and Asia.

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Synergie Solaire

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Synergie Solaire is a co-operative platform aiming to create synergy between entrepreneurs in the solar sector. This endowment fund places its skills at the service of energy access projects. Since 2011, it has been supporting Geres projects in West Africa and Asia to tackle the problems of access to sustainable, high-quality, affordable energy for local communities.

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Nexans Foundation

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The mission of the Nexans Foundation is to assist and support solidarity-based initiatives across the world aiming to reduce energy insecurity and poverty. Since 2014, it has supported Geres work in Africa to promote the energy transition and improve access to electricity in rural areas.

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